Is Food Sensitivity Testing Worth It
If your Migraine triggers are attributable to food, or if the possibility exists, you may want to consider speaking with your doctor about food sensitivity or allergy testing.
Food sensitivity is not the same as food allergies. Testing for food sensitives is done through an IgG antibody test, which is different from a test to detect allergies. The science behind food sensitivity and IgG testing is promising but its still new, says Amy Sutton from Harvard University
Get The Right Type Of Physical Assessment
Next, we have to understand the absolutely massive role that our bodies structure plays in vestibular issues of all kinds.
This becomes a problem area because a GP does not have the knowledge to assess you here.
You will likely need a:
- NUCCA chiropractor
- CHEK practitioner
to give you a full assessment.
You want to get everything looked at, from your head and atlas to your butt and coccyx.
All of our nerves hold hands and affect each other.
In particular, we want to:
Get cranial balancing especially with any head or neck trauma
Get TMJ fixed as the TMJ is linked into our balance system
Check for compression of the vestibulocochlear nerve which controls the vestibular system
Make sure we dont have vertebral basilar insufficiency or a vertebral artery occlusion as reduced blood flow means lots of issues
Get all of our vertebrae and bones checked out especially the hyoid bone and upper cervical vertebrae
Is your posture off? You likely need to have it checked out. Make sure to get a skilled therapist. A basic physical therapist will not do.
How To Hold Off Migraines
Take these steps to help stave off a migraine after you eat:
Choose better food. Eat as much wholesome, fresh food, like fruits and vegetables, as you can. Avoid processed and packaged foods.
Eat more âminiâ meals. Instead of three large meals each day, opt for five or six small ones. This will prevent you from getting a headache because youâre hungry. Youâre also less likely to eat a lot of a single food that could trigger a migraine.
Drink plenty of water. To stay hydrated, sip at least eight glasses of water each day.
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Cut Out The Environmental Poison
We have to understand that our environment and its rapid change in the past 100 years has huge effects on our bodies, brains and health.
One of these changes is the huge influx of chemicals that we have never before been exposed to in our millions of years of evolution.
This has created many issues. One of them is multiple chemical sensitivity.
Among the population, 12.8% report medically diagnosed MCS and 25.9% report chemical sensitivity. Of those with MCS, 86.2% experience health problems, such as migraine headaches, when exposed to fragranced consumer products 71.0% are asthmatic 70.3% cannot access places that use fragranced products such as air fresheners and 60.7% lost workdays or a job in the past year due to fragranced products in the workplace.
This is huge and vestibular migraines are not exempt.
We have to reduce the load our bodies are taking because of the different chemicals in our environments.
This means we need to:
- Switch hygiene products to natural sources
- Change makeup brands to find non toxic and chemical free, tested products
- Avoid any plastic, rubber or petroleum products
- Avoid plastic wrapping, plastic bags, plastic containers for food
- Switch our cookware to things like titanium or cast iron instead of aluminum, teflon or non stick
- Eat pesticide, herbicide, insecticide, antibiotic, hormone and cruelty free foods
- Wear organic clothing that as synthetics dont breath and are made of synthetics
- Use more natural cleaning and laundry supplies
Watch Out For The Calorie Creep
Although artificial sweeteners are commonly used for weight management, one crossover study from 2017 compared the short-term effects of aspartame, monk fruit, stevia, and sucrose consumption among 30 healthy male subjects. The study found that those who consumed any of the artificial or low-calorie sugars in a midmorning beverage ate more calories at lunch than those who consumed regular sugar in their beverage.
The energy they saved by consuming low-calorie sugar substitutes ended up being fully compensated for by the rest of the meal
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Combining Therapies For Migraine Treatment
While diet can play a significant role in your migraine attacks, it may not be the only trigger. You will still need to look at your environment, health, and stress levels. You may find that migraine medication and some natural remedies for migraine will help to boost your preventative measures.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to maintain healthy habits. Get enough sleep each night, get regular exercise, and stay hydrated. Learn stress-relieving techniques and take time for yourself. Maintain a healthy diet whether you eliminate all triggering foods from your diet, or just a few items. If light sensitivity is a problem, wear migraine glasses, not only outdoors, but indoors as well especially while using your computer or other electronic devices.
How To Keep A Food Diary
When keeping a food diary, it is important to write down everything you ate and when along with any symptoms experienced. It is also important to jot down compounding factors like the details of your menstrual flow , major weather events, outside stressors, and sleep patterns.
Mobile apps take the guesswork out since they often factor in weather in your area and perceived sleep patterns, saving you the effort of adding that data yourself. Because triggers are additive, you might be able to enjoy a triggering food one day, and find it problematic if consumed on a high-stress day when a storm is brewing outside.
Once you have a clearer picture of your own Migraine food triggers, you can choose to avoid them. Theres no need to avoid the whole laundry list of potential foods.
Migraine Again founder Paula K. Dumas gave up aged cheese for nearly 15 years before discovering it wasn’t necessary at all. For her, it wasn’t one of her personal migraine food triggers.
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How Your Eating And Drinking Habits May Be Linked To Head Pain
Hunger headaches: They often strike just before meals or when you havent had enough to eat. But while hunger has been identified as a potential headache trigger for some frequent headache sufferers, the question is: Why?
The answer, it turns out, is complicated. More than one kind of headache can be triggered by hunger , and more research is needed. But here are two important things to consider:
Blood Sugar Levels. Most people associate blood sugar levels with diabetes or hypoglycemia. But a symptom of low blood sugar can be a headache, even for people who dont suffer from these conditions.
How does low blood sugar happen? One cause is skipping meals. You know how it goes: Youre late for work, so you skip breakfast. But when you skip meals, no sugar gets in your blood, and so your blood sugar can drop. And if your blood sugar is low? You can get a headache. So its important to eat regular meals.
Dehydration. You can potentially get a headache or migraine from skipping meals or by consuming certain trigger foods . But some people may also get a migraine from not drinking enough water. More research is necessary, but a small study of 95 migraineurs showed that dehydration was a migraine trigger for 34 of them. 1 And another small preliminary study showed water-deprivation headaches in approximately 1 in 10 participants. 2 In general, headaches may be a sign of dehydration in some learn more about how much water you should drink to help ward off head pain.
The Headache And Food Diary Targeting Specific Foods
Observe the links between suspected food triggers and your attacks. How strong is the association? Remember, we all are subject to cognitive biases that can make us pay more attention to something we believe in than to facts that go against our beliefs.
If a food trigger is suspected, try eliminating this food completely from the diet for at least one month, and observe I there is a change in your migraine frequency. Then reintroduce the food and closely monitor how you feel. Record it in your headache and food diary.
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A Ketogenic Diet Causes The Body To Produce Ketones
Simply put, a ketogenic diet is a diet that produces ketone bodies, according to Angel L. Moreno, NP, at the UCLA Goldberg Migraine Program in Los Angeles, who spoke on the keto diet and migraine in 2019 at the annual Migraine World Summit.
Ketones are when we start burning for fat for fuel, when there is no readily available sugar or glucose from carbohydrates. Most people never form ketones, because they usually eat too high of a carbohydrate load to ever allow the body to switch over to a different fuel source, he says.
While many cells in the body, particularly brain cells, prefer glucose as an energy source, the body can also use ketones as an alternative energy source if glucose is not available.
Chewing Gum: Good Or Bad
People have been chewing gum in various forms for thousands of years.
Original gums were made from the sap of trees, such as spruce or Manilkara chicle.
However, most modern chewing gums are made from synthetic rubbers.
This article explores the health benefits and potential risks of chewing gum.
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Instead Of: Ice Cream Or Frozen Yogurt
Nothing says summer like a big bowl full of ice cream or frozen yogurt, but dairy and sugar can trigger and increase migraine pain exponentially. Is it really worth it?
Try: Mango berry nice cream
Most of the dairy-free nice cream circulating around the web these days feature bananas and coconut milk, two foods to skip on a migraine diet. This mango berry nice cream is rich and sweet with no added sugar. Berries are at their very best in the summer. To take advantage of this treat year-round, freeze them first on cookie sheets. Then put them in pre-measured bags for a quick frozen treat whenever the urge strikes!
If you need more directed help with your migraine headaches, talk to a pain doctor today to learn about treatment options that could help you. Click here to contact one of our pain specialists.
Identify Your Trigger Foods And Construct A Migraine Diet Plan
This is where the daily activity journal will do the most good. Since foods affect people differently, it helps to reset your diet to mostly safe foods to begin with. Trigger foods usually take about two days to start causing headaches again so you can then slowly add in foods you enjoy to see if they are the culprit for headaches.
Caution should be advised when changing your diet as there is no universal migraine diet that is right for everyone. A well-balanced diet is recommended. You should avoid skipping meals as this can have negative effects and actually exacerbate migraines.
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A Path Forward: Preventing Migraine By Reducing Glucose
For me, reducing carbs and sugar has led to a significant reduction in migraine frequency and pain. Given the research, it makes sense that decreasing my glucose load has lowered the risk of a migraine attackand likely helped me avoid insulin resistance.
Today, I mainly adhere to a ketogenic diet, a low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein way of eating. Eating fewer carbs puts the body in a metabolic state called ketosis, where the body relies on fat for fuel. Using fat as my primary fuel source helps my hypothalamus maintain energy constancyI experience minimal fluctuations in my energy levels, appetite, and mood.
Researchers are at the beginning stages of understanding how a keto diet helps migraineurs, but the research is promising .
In a recent study conducted in Italy, researchers analyzed 35 migraineurs who were overweight or obese. The participants alternated between eating a low-calorie ketogenic diet and a low-calorie non-ketogenic diet for one month. The results showed a significant decrease in migraines during the month that participants ate a low-calorie keto diet. The researchers hypothesize that the improvement is due to ketones but say that more research is needed to see how keto would impact non-obese people.
The Keto Diet Has Been Shown To Stop Seizures In Those With Epilepsy
In the early 1900s, researchers found that starvation was an effective way to stop seizures in people with epilepsy, with seizures typically improving after two to three days, according to a history of the ketogenic diet published in Epilepsia. Soon after, researchers began successfully treating some patients with the ketogenic diet and other carbohydrate-restricting diets, including the Atkins diet and the modified Atkins diet.
Migraine and epilepsy have a lot of overlapping mechanisms, says Moreno. We use antiepileptic medications for some people who have migraine, including Depakote , Topamax , and Neurontin these are all anti-epileptic medications, he says.
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Understanding The Sugar Withdrawal Headache
A headache is perhaps the most common symptom people report when they cut out sugar or caffeine. Researchers arent 100 percent positive why headaches occur as a sugar withdrawal symptom, but they theorize it could be due, at least in part, to the brains stress system.
In a study published in the journal PNAS, researchers fed two groups of mice different diets one consistently low in sugar and one high in sugar , on certain days. They found that the mice on the cycled chocolate-flavored sugary diet exhibited some withdrawal-like responses when they didnt have access to the sweet stuff. Their levels of corticotropin-releasing factor a hormone in the part of the brain that controls fear, anxiety, and stress responses was raised. It was five times higher than the control group, and only stabilized when the mice were fed chocolate-flavored sugary feed.
The Effect Of Sugar On The Body
When you eat sugar, your brain releases dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical. Your body associates it with a reward. Logically, you may know that sugar is bad and can lead to adverse effects, but your reward center drives you to just keep eating, says Michele Promaulayko, and creator of Sugar Free 3.
When you cut back on added sugar, or eliminate it from your diet completely, your body has to adjust to not getting regular hits of dopamine from that particular source. Meanwhile, levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that causes neurons to fire, rise. This can cause the nervous system some distress, leading to aches and pains in the body and sugar withdrawal symptoms such as:
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What Is A Sucralose Migraine
Sucralose is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener derived from sugar. Known by the brand name, Splenda, you can use this sweetener for both cooking and baking. According to “Sweet Stuff: An American History of Sweeteners From Sugar to Sucralose,” sucralose is approximately 600-times sweeter than sugar. Manufacturers also use sucralose in a variety of packaged foods and beverages. Sucralose also has several side effects associated with its use, including migraines.
Sugarheadache And Hunger Headache
Reactive hypoglycemia is not the only sugar-related cause of headaches. Another type of low-sugar headache is what’s sometimes called a hunger headache, according to the National Headache Foundation. Your blood sugar can fall if you go too long between meals, exercise without eating or put yourself on too strict of a diet. Sleeping too late in the morning can also make you go too long between meals.
The type of carbs you eat is also important, the foundation notes. Simple carbs are foods or drinks with added sugar, as well as foods like baked goods and white bread or pasta. These foods are loaded with carbs that are easy and quick to absorb. That can lead to a rush of glucose, followed by a surge in insulin and a headache.
Complex carbs are fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These more natural foods are digested more slowly and may help you avoid the high glucose surge and headaches.
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References And Resources :
The information in this article is based on an interview with registered dietician and nutritionist Ana Reisdorf, MS.RD. Additional info came from more than 13 references including an article by Dr. Christina Sun-Edelstein and Dr. Alexander Mauskop, in The Clinical Journal of Pain.
A. . Migraine Diet: A Natural Approach to Migraines. Retrieved from http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/a-natural-approach-to-migraines
Aydinlar, E. I., Dikmen, P. Y., Tiftikci, A., Saruc, M., Aksu, M., Gunsoy, H. G., & Tozun, N. . IgGBased Elimination Diet in Migraine Plus Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1526-4610.2012.02296.x
Bergh, V. V., Amery, W. K., & Waelkens, J. . Trigger Factors in Migraine: A Study Conducted by the Belgian Migraine Society. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1526-4610.1987.hed2704191.x
Foods and Supplements in the Management of Migraine : The Clinical Journal of Pain. . Retrieved from https://journals.lww.com/clinicalpain/Abstract/2009/06000/Foods_and_Supplements_in_the_Management_of.15.aspx
Millichap, J. G., & Yee, M. M. . The diet factor in pediatric and adolescent migraine. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12657413
Optics, A. . Migraine Glasses | Benefits of Precision Tinted Lenses for Migraines. Retrieved from http://www.axonoptics.com/2017/03/seven-benefits-migraine-glasses/
How To Deal With Headache Food Triggers
The National Headache Foundation recommends keeping a food log of the foods you have eaten before a headache. Note the time you ate and when the symptoms occurred. Identify the trigger foods and see if eliminating them from your diet reduces or eliminates your headaches. Dont miss these easy ways to reduce your risk of headaches.
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